Jo James is going to be greatly missed - her love, her smile, her compassion & much more.
"When I started to look for an ‘Associate Vicar’ post in 2009, God seemed to make it so clear that Christ Church, Barnet, was the church that we were going to serve in next and in 2010, as we got settled into 8 Wentworth Road, we couldn’t believe how lovely a place God had found for us to live in! We felt at home so quickly in Barnet – the addition of a kitten and then a puppy helped! and we have always loved the fact that turning left from our front door takes us into town and turning right takes us for a walk in the fields with the dog… and wherever we go, we are bound to see at least one person we know!
Looking back over the past eight years, there have been many highlights - New Wine, Pilgrim, J John’s visit, Prayer week, Secret Church and the contact we’ve had with our Mission Partners over the years are the first things that come to mind. I have loved the many opportunities I’ve had to work with the different staff and church members during my time here - planning and taking services, organising events, praying and working together in various different meetings… I am going to miss so many of you and the fun, encouragement and wisdom you’ve brought to my work here at CCB!
Thank you, too, for all those who I’ve been able to meet up with over the years. Hearing your life stories and allowing me to pray with you, walk with you through difficult journeys, as well as celebrate together in the joys of life has been such a privilege and has encouraged and grown my faith, too.
As well as many joys, there have, of course, been one or two challenges to face over the past eight years! For me, the biggest challenge was when I was diagnosed with M.E. in 2012. As is often the way, learning over the following three years to live with a long-term illness with no known cure also became another opportunity for me to learn about God’s faithful, transforming love in my life – and I love the fact, over three years later, I am still able to share my testimony about how God miraculously healed me completely from the illness in 2015!
We’re so thankful for so many things here in Barnet – the kids have lots of great memories and good friendships from their time at Christ Church School and of course during the time we’ve been here they have both grown several metres… whilst Pete and I have grown numerous grey hairs…! (Proverbs 16.31)
Looking ahead and thinking about moving on to St Paul’s Mill Hill, I find myself marvelling again at God’s perfect plan for our lives. Although it is a real wrench to move away from CCB, I am looking forward to getting to know a new church family over the next few months and finding out what God’s vision is for Mill Hill. As we start packing up 8 Wentworth Road and think about putting down roots in Mill Hill, we would all appreciate your prayers for a smooth move and enough time to get the Vicarage ready before I hit the ground running on 16th July!"